The Rag and Bone Shop

The Rag and Bone Shop


A twinge of sadness, a rush of love, a knot of loss, a whiff of regret. Memories have the power to move us, often when we least expect it, a sign of the complex neural process that continues in the background of our everyday lives. A process that shapes us: filtering the world around us, informing our behaviour and feeding our imagination.

How do our brains store - and then conjure up - past experiences?

As a practising psychiatrist, Veronica O'Keane has spent many years observing what happens when this process is disrupted by mental illness and the experiences of her patients have provided startling insights into how memory determines how we function in the world. Drawing on these poignant cases and much more, from literature and fairy tales, she uses the latest neuroscientific research to illuminate the role of psychiatry today and the extraordinary puzzle that is our human brain.

Our Review

The Rag and Bone Shop is a book about the complex neurological processes involved in making and storing memories. 

The author draws on experiences working with those suffering with post-partum psychosis and used some excellent case studies to illustrate her examples. She also uses a wealth of other materials and current research. 

I was excited to read this book as I am interested in learning more about the process of memory making and storing and thought it sounded intriguing. However, I confess to being overwhelmed by the scientific nature of the book and having just finished some light fiction I struggled with the switch between the two. 

It was clear that the author knows what she is talking about and it is obviously well-researched but I found myself dipping in and out of the book quite often. 

An interesting read but not for me at this time. 

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3/5

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